When The MICE Academy introduced the American-owned and managed CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) programme to South Africa in 2004 – seven South Africans attained certification in 2006.

By 2011 – with the MICE Academy steering a particularly time-consuming programme – there were 37 confirmed South African CMPs with an additional 25 approved applications waiting to be processed, which would have brought the number of possible additional CMPs to a record 62 on the African continent. 62 CMPs would have signified the most CMPs in any country off the American continent – including Canada – at the time. Clearly, this was an achievement indicating that South Africans can meet the US requirements which are not necessarily at the more defined planning abilities as in South Africa.

In 2017, 14 South African CMPs remain from the 37 and unless effective promotion – of whatever the benefits are – is undertaken, the number of South African CMPs may dwindle to below 10 by 2020 with merely a handful of stalwart SAACI members advertising this American acronym behind their name.    A far cry from the numbers reached in 2011.

CMPs require to re-certify every five years – by January of the expired five years – at a cost of around R4000 – dependent on the fluctuating exchange rate and possible penalties for late application.

It does not appear however that any information is available on an accurate number of lapsed CMPs who have not considered recertification – which is understood to be significant – when benchmarking on a 70% CMP decrease on the Africa continent.

SAACI – the industry’s trade association of predominantly event suppliers and services are members of the body who own this particular USA-slanted certification programme and the promotion may prove a challenging one to gain critical mass and indeed surpass beyond the almost 60 attained some 6 years ago.

The MICE Academy are in discussions with various successful South African allied qualification programmes for an equivalent South African MICE certification programme. The acronym AMP has been mooted.  Developments will be advised as these unfold.

* Helen Brewer from The MICE Academy, is an independent contributor and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Planner.